Praised by the New York Times for his "…clear voice and attractive timbre…," and San Francisco Classical voice for his "Flawless singing…," Ian Howell, Countertenor, has performed on major concert stages across much of the world. In 2006, Mr. Howell took First Prize at the American Bach Soloists International Solo Competition with an acclaimed performance of Bach's Cantata BWV 170, Vergnügte Ruh, and Third Prize at the Oratorio Society of New York's Competition. This Blacksburg, VA native can be heard with the all male chamber choir Chanticleer on one DVD and seven CDs, including the GRAMMY award winning Lamentations and Praises and the GRAMMY award nominated Our American journey. Recent roles include the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, Endimion in Cavalli's La Calisto, and Lichas in Handel's Hercules. Mr. Howell has worked with such conductors as Kent Tritle, John Scott, Jeffrey Thomas, Neville Mariner, Simon Carrington, and James Sinclair. Future engagements include solo performances with The American Bach Soloists, The Berkshire Choral Festival, and The Choir of St Thomas 5th Ave (NYC). A debut solo CD with The American Bach Soloists will be released Fall 2008 featuring repertory by D. Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, and Handel. Mr. Howell is committed to spreading awareness of the countertenor voice and is an active teacher and clinician; he is on the voice faculty of Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT, and maintains a teaching studio in the New Haven area. Mr. Howell graduated December 2006 with a Master of Music Degree in Voice offered jointly by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the Yale School of Music.

Press Quotes

"Howell possesses a light instrument, yet it has resonance in the upper register and is well-tuned, with a lovely, mellow, almost meditative quality. He is smooth and even throughout his registers, and musical in his phrasing, showing an affinity for legato and emotions of the plaintive and gentle variety. He never oversings or forces... Technically, he was flawless, as several perfectly executed trills showed.... He sang passionately in “Cara sposa,” from Rinaldo... The encore, “Ombra mai fu” from Serse, was marvelous — spacious, and lovingly phrased... Ian Howell is moving up in the ranks, and certainly his artistry demands further hearings."

-San Francisco Classical Voice, 22 April 2008; American Bach Soloists

“Ian Howell, the countertenor (filling in for David Walker, who was ill), has a lovely sound that grew in strength and confidence through the evening.”

- The New York Times, 21 December 2007; Handel's Messiah (Alto Soloist) at Carnegie Hall

“The young countertenor Ian Howell sang with a clear voice and attractive timbre as Daniel, a Jewish prophet…”

- The New York Times, 27 October 2007; Handel's Belshazzar (Daniel)

"Countertenor Ian Howell has a rare and glorious voice... his notes ranged far above the ceiling, very likely reaching the stars."

- The Davis Classical Review, 4 December 2007; Buxtehude Jubilate Domino

“Mr. Howell sang with clarity and strength that carried to the back of the hall and a free and open sound which could have gone on forever. [He is]...clearly looking at a great future on the concert stage.”

- Town Topics (Princeton, NJ), 2 May 2007; Handel's Hercules (Lichas)

“The judges seemed to have been bowled over by Howell's polished sound, clear resonance, and powerful enunciation…”

- San Francisco Classical Voice, 4-11 June 2006; Bach BWV 170 Vergnügte Ruh

“... The agile, other worldly timbre of countertenor Ian Howell turned vocal cameos into star turns.”

- Miami Herald, 12 October 2005; Monteverdi's Vespers 1610

Sample of major solo repertory (performed/scheduled)

Bach, J.S. St. John Passion
B-minor Mass
Vergnügte Ruh, 11, 12, 29, 30, 94, 159
Britten, B. A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oberon)
Buxtehude, D. Cantata Jubilate Domino
Cavalli, F. La Calisto (Endimion)
Handel, G.F. Dixit Dominus
Messiah
Hercules (Lichas)
Semele (Athamas)
Orlando (Orlando) (Scenes)
Serse (Arsemene) (Scenes)
Saul (David) (Scenes)
Belshazzar (Daniel)
Solomon (Solomon)
Rinaldo (Rinaldo) (Scenes)
Monteverdi, C. Vespers (1610)
Orff, C. Carmina Burana
Purcell, H. Dioclesian, The Fairy Queen
Rosenmüller, J. Cantata In Te Domine
Scarlatti, D. Cantata Salve Regina